Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Venus and the Da Vinci Glow
On March 23 early evening skygazers could watch Venus and a young crescent moon, both near the western horizon. On that date Earth's brilliant evening star, faint lunar night side and slender sunlit crescent were captured in this telephoto skyscape posing alongside a church tower from Danta di Cadore, Dolomiti, Italy.
Outbound Comet ZTF
Former darling of the northern sky Comet C/2022E3 (ZTF) has faded. During its closest approach to our fair planet in early February Comet ZTF was a mere 2.3 light-minutes distant. Then known as the green comet, this visitor from the remote Oort Cloud is now nearly 13.3 light-minutes away.
Spiral Galaxy NGC 2841
A mere 46 million light-years distant, spiral galaxy NGC 2841 can be found in planet Earth's night sky toward the northern constellation of Ursa Major. This sharp image centered on the gorgeous island universe also captures spiky foreground Milky Way stars and more distant background galaxies within the same telescopic field of view.
APOD: 2023 March 22 Б M31: The Andromeda Galaxy
How far can you see? The most distant object easily visible to the unaided eye is M31, the great Andromeda Galaxy, over two million light-years away. Without a telescope, even this immense spiral galaxy appears as an unremarkable, faint, nebulous cloud in the constellation Andromeda.
APOD: 2023 March 21 Б Dark Nebulae and Star Formation in Taurus
Can dust be beautiful? Yes, and it can also be useful. The Taurus molecular cloud has several bright stars, but it is the dark dust that really draws attention. The pervasive dust has waves...
APOD: 2023 March 20 Б M1: The Expanding Crab Nebula
Are your eyes good enough to see the Crab Nebula expand? The Crab Nebula is cataloged as M1, the first on Charles Messier's famous list of things which are not comets. In fact...
APOD: 2023 March 19 Б Equinox at the Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent
To see the feathered serpent descend the Mayan pyramid requires exquisite timing. You must visit El Castillo -- in Mexico's Yucatцn Peninsula -- near an equinox. Then, during the late afternoon if the sky is clear, the pyramid's own shadows create triangles that merge into the famous illusion of a slithering viper.
Wolf Rayet 124
Driven by powerful stellar winds, expanding shrouds of gas and dust frame hot, luminous star Wolf-Rayet 124 in this sharp infrared view. The eye-catching 6-spike star pattern is characteristic of stellar images made with the 18 hexagonal mirrors of the James Webb Space Telescope.
The Medusa Nebula
Braided and serpentine filaments of glowing gas suggest this nebula's popular name, The Medusa Nebula. Also known as Abell 21, this Medusa is an old planetary nebula some 1,500 light-years away in the constellation Gemini. Like its mythological namesake, the nebula is associated with a dramatic transformation.
Millions of Stars in Omega Centauri
Globular star cluster Omega Centauri, also known as NGC 5139, is 15,000 light-years away. The cluster is packed with about 10 million stars much older than the Sun within a volume about 150 light-years in diameter.